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Richard Wright
By Stefano : http://digilander.libero.it/wrightside/
http://digilander.libero.it/wrightside

- translated by Robert Cubinelly -

Why the name of Pink Floyd?

Richard Wright
di Stefano : http://digilander.libero.it/wrightside/

http://digilander.libero.it/wrightside

Prefazioni e conclusioni di
Veronica Waters

Biography Richard Wright

 

(1943-2008)

A brief foreword……..


Richard Wright, keyboards, second vocals, composer of music and melodies, a man of dwelling and candid atmosphere, a careful and prudent man con with anyone who is observing him, reserved and indolent, good-mannered and very sensitive, a Silver-lined musician, a touch, but never having reached perfection, a ‘one-sand grain’ person, a soul that was not well understood by the rest of his band, a body that felt it right to step aside when perhaps it was better to do so, a lover of the skies and the lights of the sea while there is a reflection in his face showing his “Us and them”




Thoroughly speaking..


Richard William Wright was born in London, Hatch End, on 28 July 1943. His parents, Bridie and Cedric Wright had other two children, Selina and Guinivere. Rick went to Haberdasher's School and when he was 17, he went to the Polytechnic Institute to in Regent Street to study architecture. At the institute he met Roger Waters and Nick Mason, started plying music with them and formed a band. About 6 months later, Syd Barrett, a guitar player, joined the band. The band had different names and other musicians joined (including Rick’s future wife, Juliette Gale)….they started to play standard Rhytm'n'Blues but later they build up their own identity and the band became a stable 4-piece combo when Barrett joined.This is the birth of the Pink Floyd.


Rick Wright contributed to the band by playing the piano, the Hammond oragn and all keyboards. He sang many songs solo and as second vocals as well. The band released its debut single Arnold Layne when it had already reached fame in the London scenario for its live concerts featuring great pieces of improvised music and the adoption of avantgarde "light shows" that introduced lights and slides in order to drag the audience into psychedelic atmosphere created by the band’s music.

The band’s debut album The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn was released in 1967.Richard Wright: "It was a great thing when Syd joined the band. Before he came, we used to play classic R&B songs because we guessed that was what a band had to do. Actually, I never really liked R&B much. I enjoyed jazz better. The coming of Syd changed everything and we improvised more using guitars and keyboards. Roger starter to play the bass like a "solo" instrument and I starterd introducing more of my classical feel".However, Barrett was soon replaced by David Gilmour because of his mental problems that prevented him from playing with the rest of the band.



Other singles are released and one of them, It Would Be So Nice written by Wright and the album A Saucerful Of Secrets (1968). Wright composed and co-composed a lot of the band’s music and the sound of his Hammond and keyboards very soon became ‘trademark’. He sang a lot of the band’s classic songs as well. In Ummagumma (1969), he wrote and performed an experimental avantgarde piece like “Sysyphus” inspired by the ancient Greek myth of Sysyphus. In 1971, Pink Floyd released Meddle including the long and epic “Echoes” with Wright on vocals including an extraordinary keyboard performance. Worldwide success for the band came with Dark Side Of The Moon (1973) where Rick’s contribution was, among other things, a song like The Great Gig In The Sky and the melody in Us & Them. Other albums are released : Wish You Were Here (1975) including the famous and marvellous “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” co-written by Rick and Animals (1977), the first album not co-written by Wright; the band began to suffer internal tension due to Water’s increasing leadership. In 1978, Wright released his first solo album Wet Dream, a great record full of Floyd sounds. In that period, Rick lives in Greece, at Lindos on the island of Rhodes and dedicated himself to his great passion, the sea.


 


His travels and life on his boat “Gala” were a source of inspiration for his record. In 1979, the band returned with the The Wall, but the contrasts with Waters were irreversible and Rick was forced to leave the band. He does play on tour as a paid musician, but the official split occurs during the shooting of Alan Parker’s film (1982). The live footage of those concerts, Is There Anybody Out There, released in 2000, shows how great Rick’s contribution was in that occasion as well. In 1983, Rick was out of the band and he doesn’t take part in the making of The Final Cut. In 1984, he and Dave Harris released (as Zee) the album Identità, today considered as being "a wrong experiment".In 1986, with Waters out of the band, Gilmour and Mason summoned Wright to join them for the recording of A Momentary Lapse of Reason (1987). ”I woke up one morning and I thought 'God, what am I doing?' so I called Dave and we met in Greece where he told me he was planning another album with Pink Floyd”. ”I told him that if he was looking for someone to play keyboards, I would have liked to be the one to do it”. ”I got up to midway with the recordings and then I went on tour with them". He became an official member of the band again only during the triumphant tour and this was acknowlegeded in Delicate Sound Of Thunder live in 1988.


 


In 1994, The Division Bell saw the return of Wright as composer in many songs (Keep Talking, What Do You Want From Me among others) and as singer in Wearing The Inside Out. The record was far more complete than the previous one and was a big hit with the fans who fully rediscovered the old Pink Floyd feeling. The tour was once again triumphant. In 1996, Rick released his new solo album, Broken China including some of the best musicians; the year before, the band was inducted into the Hall Of Fame. In 2001, the Pink Floyd released Echoes, an anthology including many classics by Wright. In January 2002, Rick played as honoured guest in David Gilmour’s concerts in London and Paris.Rick Wright has three children: Gala, Rick Jr. and Benjamin.

He is now married with Millie.Wright is without doubt a fundamental element for the equilibrium of Pink Floyd’s music.His keyboards provide the classic piano sound as well as avantegarde performances on synth; indeed, the Pink Floyd were pioneers of this sound. Although he does not have that classic technique and not being known for his ‘virtuoso’ effects, Richard provides a rare and talented sense of harmony with taste. He is surely the musician in the band who loves experimentation the most (listen to songs like A Saucerful Of Secrets, Sysyphus, Up The Khyber, Quicksilver, Any Colour You Like) and during the years, he has built up an absolutely recognizable and peculiar sound with the Hammond organ as well as with the various synths used.

His Impressionist touch is essential and his songs and music are always recognizable due to the sequences of unusual chords quite often on the jazzy side. Wright does mention his style was influenced by various trumpet players like Miles Davis as well as by other keyboard players.

Wright dies on 15 september 2008.


Conclusions:


Let’s stop for a while, having described the life of this Pink Floyd character, a thought comes to my mind, Mr. Wright, I have had the opportunity of seeing him in 1994, quite a long time ago and in that period I necessarily didn’t know him much; in a short time, I thoroughly started to know the man and the musician; we should, like with every character, learn something…Richard was not the leader of the band, but the leader of himself; he had highs and lows and he managed to stay to step aside and pay respect to his own personality…I learned from his interviews and ideas that in life the winner is not always the one who reaches first place, but the first place has to be inside of us, to have the ability of seeing thinga as they are, without great castles around or too much talk either..this is what he taught me and will always cherish this in my private little, mental Pink Floyd bag.

 

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